Last Updated on August 7th, 2019
If you are a teen and you have severe acne, there’s a good chance you have already heard of Cassandra Bankson. A major presence on YouTube, Cassandra Bankson offers great tips and insights on how to cover up the worst pimples and blemishes.
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Just to look at Cassandra Bankson you would think she was a well-known, beautiful model. And now at twenty-six years old, she is. But when she first started posting videos about her severe acne online over a decade ago, she was in a very different place. As the ABC Good Morning America host Robin Roberts pointed out, Cassandra has been dealing with acne almost as long as she can remember, or at least since the age of eight.
“I got my first pimple when I was in third grade. And as I had my ninth birthday and then ten, eleven, and twelve, it just kept getting progressively worse.” When Cassandra posted her facial close-ups online, it took her a while before she would even look at them herself.
At first, Bankson thought that she would be getting the same hate for her acne online that she got at school. Her hope was that sharing photos of her severe acne online might help one girl or one guy who had the same problem and did not know that other teens had the same cosmetic challenges.
Cassandra did not look at any of the comments to her YouTube video for four months. She was amazed by the comments she got.
Cassandra need not have feared ostracism over the Internet. As it turned out, she said, people’s outpouring of sympathy has been “overwhelming.” She received comments from teens and adults, men and women. Most of the comments revealed that people regard severe acne as a cosmetic issue, but also as something deeper than that1.
“My boyfriend taught me that inner beauty really is more attractive than cosmetic beauty,” Bankson said, “but when it came down to drawing that line” between inner and outer beauty, “I did not know where that line stood.”
Bankson says her boyfriend was the one who sat with her without her makeup and explained what it was that made her beautiful to him, and when she realized what that was, she knew that every man and every woman had to feel that same way, and she had to get that message out to as many people as possible.
Through YouTube, she has, to over 850,000 subscribers. Thankfully, Cassandra has managed to successfully clear up her skin over the last 10 years, but her YouTube videos are still just as inspiring, encouraging, and real as they were when she first started posting. For instance, check out this video about the reality of breaking out after having had clear skin for a while.
Bankson’s tips, however, aren’t about some kind of spiritual beauty. They are about the beauty that people with horrible acne can achieve with the right attention to makeup.
Cassandra recommends that if you are an older woman (or man) with acne, you choose a concealer or2 foundation that is a little bit more dewy, unless you are on camera or working in bright lights. It makes you look more youthful.
It is also important to pay attention to the contour of your face and to do highlights. There is a triangle of your face where you want to draw attention to your face, keeping the focus on your eyes and your nose and your lips. You want to use color to highlight these areas rather than the sides of your face.
That’s the reason many women use blush on their cheeks—especially when like Cassandra they can’t cover the acne elsewhere on their faces.
While Cassandra’s boyfriend inspired her to keep learning more and more ways to bring out the natural beauty of her skin, she admits that learning the cosmetic methods that make her a model required a lot of trial and error. It also took the realization that there were no products that could completely conceal her acne and that she was going to have to do the very best she could with what she had.
“Weren’t you concerned that using all that makeup would aggravate the acne?” Robin Roberts asked Cassandra Bankson. Cassandra replied that there are “technical difficulties” with using cosmetics when you have severe acne. In her videos, she explains to people that breakouts are not a matter of answering the question of whether a product makes you break out with a yes or no. It’s also important to have an understanding3 of why a product might make you break out.
Bankson says it’s important to go into the logistics of breakouts so that women and men and like can understand what’s going on with their bodies so they can feel confident when they do their best to look their best4.
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts also asked Cassandra what she would tell teens who are bullied because of their acne. “I would tell teens I know exactly where you are,” Cassandra Bankson said. “I have been in your shoes. And there is help.”
Bankson said she never understood when she was a tween or teen that others had had to deal with bullying at school and embarrassment 24/7. Except for a uniquely empathetic and supportive boyfriend, she would have felt all alone. The reality is that acne doesn’t have to keep anyone from looking beautiful. It just takes a working knowledge5 of what cosmetics really do when they conceal acne—using the right colors to focus attention in the right places is essential—and which cosmetics do it best.
We want to make it very clear that Cassandra Bankson is not a spokesperson for Exposed Skin Care and she has not endorsed their products. We still think that Exposed Skin Care is probably the best product line for most teens who have acne. However, we think that her cosmetics tips are exactly what users of Exposed Skin Care need to know while they are getting over their acne. You can look good. And you can look good right now.
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